Please write a short note on Hamlet's seventh soliloquy.

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lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure if your count and my count will match, but I will talk here about the "Now might I do it pat," soliloquy.  This speech is delivered on the heels of Claudius's soliloquy in which he confesses to his crimes and attempts to pray for forgiveness, even though he is fairly sure there will be no forgiveness because we won't give up all he has gained from his crimes.

Hamlet walks by Claudius in what looks like prayer and sees his opportunity to kill Claudius and avenge his father's death.  But his next thought is 'if I kill him now' "he goes to heaven . . . a villian kills my father, and for that, I his sole son, do this same villian send to heaven."  Hamlet thinks that if he kills Claudius while at actual prayer, Claudius's sins will be absolved and he will to heaven, while is own father, who died with sin on his soul, is still going to be punished in purgatory.  Hamlet decides to wait for a different opportunity to kill Claudius -- hopefully when he is doing an act that is full of sin, when "all his crimes [are] broad blown."  He is thinking that maybe he can catch Claudius while he is drunk, or in the incestuous bed, of gambling, or some other ba act.  Hamlet wants Claudius's death to happen at a time that will send his soul straight to hell where his "heels may kick at heaven."

The irony of the speech is that Claudius isn't REALLY praying, he is only trying and pretending to.  It actually would have been the perfect time to kill him, but he missed the chance.